Coker’s Para-Philosophical Advice #3

Posted on July 15, 2013 by


McClurg Kills Sophists

Eunoia Solstice offers a column that gives you a chance to have your questions answered–or perhaps only thought about– by a practicing philosopher.
Send your questions to cokersadvice at gmail dot com.*

It’s rumored that you were seen slam dancing at several Black Flag shows in the ’80s. Is this true? What are you listening to these days?

When I landed in Fall 1978 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, to attend my first year of law school, I had only heard about but never heard any punk rock.  My first day there I tuned into the University of Illinois radio station, which exclusively played punk rock and new wave.  I was wowed!

In October 1978, I saw the Ramones perform live at the older auditorium on the quad on campus, and was blown away.  I also discovered a great campus-town bar that fall, Mabels, which over the years I frequented (Fall 1978 through Spring 1986) that brought in many L.A. hardcore bands.  (Aiding and abetting this invasion of L.A. punk into Chambana was a law school classmate whose father was a record producer in Los Angeles and who had the connections.)

Slam-dancing didn’t hit full throttle until around 1980 or so (before then we pogo-ed).  I not only attended two Black Flag performances at Mabels (slam-dancing, of course), but partied with them afterwards.  I remember that the second time I saw and partied with them was when My War came out.  Among other notable punk groups I saw at Mabels were the Circle Jerks and Fear, along with more new-wavey sounding punkers like the Motels.  I can’t remember all of them.  I caught the Dead Kennedys at a dive on the north side of Chicago when In God We Trust Inc. came out:  that was the most hard-hitting slam-dancing I ever experienced.  I still consider myself a punker, albeit a geezer punker.

Nowadays, I mostly watch and listen to ballet and opera DVDs.  I have loads of classical music CDs and mp3s of which I am an aficionado (including 20th Century composers that many people find unlistenable and who never get played on WHIL).

My favorite genres in rock, of which I have giant collections, are, in historical order:

1. ’50s Rockabilly
2. ’50s Rhythm and Blues
3. British Invasion [the first 33 1/3 rpm vinyl record I ever bought was The Best of the Herman’s Hermits]
4. late-’60s-early-’70s psychedelic (a.k.a. Acid Rock) [note: the second 33 1/3 rpm vinyl album I ever bought, in 1967, was Are     You Experienced by the Jimi Hendrix Experience:  it changed my life forever]
5. Metal [the third 33 1/3 rpm vinyl album I ever bought, in 1968, was Black Sabbath’s first album, and I continue to love all sorts of metal so long as it is high speed with lots of flashy fast guitar licks]
6. Punk Rock!!!
7. New Wave
8. Grunge Rock

The last group who I truly loved for their music and message was Rage Against the Machine.

*(Editors’ Note: You can ask about the meaning of life or ask about advice for the perfect gift for your husband, but be aware no one may like any of the answers [or even the questions]. Don’t let that stop you. Ask away–just know that Dr. Coker and Eunoia Solstice aren’t responsible for results–good or bad. We hope we may offer a service here, but also this is done in a spirit of fun. We don’t know what Dr. Coker will or will not answer and he has that right to choose. He might be able to tell you which translation is best for Plato’s works or why Derrida’s work is important or a sham. And he might not. He may be able to help you choose lemon or lime flavoring. And he might not.)